The Obama administration has delayed a decision on the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, citing a Nebraska state court decision that invalidated part of the project’s route.
The latest hold-up in the unusually lengthy review of the $5.3 billion oil pipeline almost certainly will push any decision until after the November midterm election, getting President Barack Obama off a political hook.
The White House has been pressed on one side by environmentalists who have turned opposition to the pipeline into a touchstone issue and on the other by conservative Democrats from energy-producing states who say approving Keystone XL would show the administration’s commitment to job creation.
‘Everyone is in favor of free speech,” Winston Churchill once wrote. “Hardly a day passes without its being extolled.” And yet, he added dryly, “some people’s idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage.”
This aphorism, generally applicable as it is, could easily have been issued to describe the attitude of one Michael E. Mann, a climate scientist and opponent of free inquiry who is currently suing National Review for libel.
Mann, a professor of meteorology at Pennsylvania State University, rose to prominence for his “hockey stick,” a graph that purports to depict global temperature trends between the years a.d. 1000 and 2000. The graph takes its name from its shape, which shows a mostly flat line of temperature data from the year 1000 until about 1900 (the handle of the hockey stick), followed by a sharp uptick over the 20th century (the blade). Based on this graph and related research, Mann has built a noisy public career sounding the alarm over global warming — a plague, he argues, that has been visited upon the Earth as a result of mankind’s sinful penchant for fossil fuels.
Try to ignore Earth Day, April 22. It won’t be easy. The print and broadcast media will engage in an orgy of environmental tall tales and the usual end-of-the-world predictions. It will scare the heck out of youngsters and bore the heck out of anyone old enough to know that we have had to endure the lies that hide the agendas that have driven the Greens since 1970 when the event was first proclaimed.
The Earth is 4.5 billion years old. It is the third planet from the Sun and fifth-largest of the eight other planets that orbit it. It is the only planet in our galaxy that has life on it and it has an abundance of mineral resources as well as water and the fecundity to grow crops and maintain livestock to sustain the human race.
Wings on fire: burned feathers on
rough-winged swallow found at Ivanpah.Alternative energy has some unintended consequences. Wind farms are known to chop up birds and bats, but solar energy was seen as benign – until now.
A report from the National Fish and Wildlife Forensic Laboratory examines bird mortality from three solar facilities in California. What is particularly interesting is that these facilities each represent three different methods of producing solar energy. The objective of this report was not to count the number of avian deaths, but to study the manner of death of 233 bird remains collected at the sites over a few days.
The Ivanpah generating station, in the Mohave Desert southwest of Las Vegas, uses 173,500 heliostats each with two mirrors to focus sunlight on a tower where water is converted to steam to generate electricity. This method is called “solar-flux” and it generates very high temperatures. Birds experience traumatic impact with the mirrors, but the larger danger is getting singed by the heat flux which is up to 800 degrees F.
The cult centered on “global warming” alarmism is getting hot under the collar. People seem to have stopped paying attention and polls show “climate change” barely registers on a list of voters’ concerns.
This can only mean, as losing politicians like to say, that their message isn’t getting through. What to do? Why shout louder, of course.
A recent story in The New York Times sought to help alarmists raise the decibel level: “The countries of the world have dragged their feet so long on global warming that the situation is now critical, experts appointed by the United Nations reported Sunday, and only an intensive worldwide push over the next 15 years can stave off potentially disastrous climatic changes later in the century.”
Al Gore, known for wild rants about global warming, including one where his foul language earned him the description “mentally unstable,” is at it again.
Only this time he’s complaining about those who put up “barriers” to his agenda that critics say includes cracking down on carbon emissions, buying and selling credits for that activity and putting the American coal industry out of business.
“The ‘barriers’ to doing something about climate change are business and political interests that profit off of fossil fuels – ‘dirty energy that causes dirty weather,’” he said, according to an online report about a recent speech he made.
The White House announced on Thursday it was launching a $15 million dollar “Solar Market Pathways” program to help state, local and tribal governments expand their solar energy production.
“To advance our nation’s energy and climate goals, the United States must be a leader in innovating and deploying clean energy,” the White House said. “Solar is a vital component of the Administration’s all-of the above strategy. Supported by historic investments in research, development, and deployment, the price of solar technologies has decreased and the U.S. solar market has experienced rapid growth since President Obama took office.”
“But the President is committed to continuing the momentum,” the White House added. “The White House is also calling, today for new commitments from the private sector and non-profits to support solar deployment and jobs.”
U.S. coal exports have been booming in recent years due to rising demand around the world. In fact, some European countries are already using U.S. coal to displace costly Russian gas. “Some European countries are using U.S. coal to help displace Russian natural gas and neutralize Russia’s energy influence,” Republican Kentucky Rep. Ed Whitfield said. “Coal exports are already having an impact on geopolitics and are helping to create American jobs and reduce our trade deficit. We can build on this success by increasing natural gas exports as well.” --Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller News, 17 April 2014
A federal court has upheld an Environmental Protection Agency mercury emissions rule responsible for forcing hundreds of coal-fired power plants to retire across the country.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. upheld the EPA’s Mercury Air Toxics Standards (MATS) for coal and oil-fired power plants. The rule limits emissions of mercury and other air pollutants from such power plants, and the court victory has been hailed by environmentalists as a victory for public health.
“Today’s legal victory is another giant step forward on the road to cleaner, healthier air,” said Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund. “The court recognized that mercury and other dangerous air toxins from coal-fired power plants are a threat to public health, and that we should all be protected from them.”
The standoff in the Nevada desert wasn't about a desert tortoise or a rancher's failure to pay grazing fees. It was about the state's senior senator again enriching himself and his family at public expense.
Sunlight is said to be the best disinfectant, and the end, at least temporarily, to the Bureau of Land Management's armed standoff with Cliven Bundy may be due in part to the exposure given to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's role in the attempt to confiscate Bundy's cattle and shut down his ranch.
"A tortoise isn't the reason why BLM is harassing a 67-year-old rancher; they want his land," journalist and blogger Dana Loesch notes. "The tortoise wasn't of concern when Harry Reid worked with BLM to literally change the boundaries of the tortoise's habitat to accommodate the development of his top donor, Harvey Whittemore."
Harrison Ford: Losing his religionUpdate, April 16th (blog post originally released on April 12th): Nielsen ratings concluded that the premiere of "Years of Living Dangerously" was only watched by 294,000 people (compare with 16+ million for The Big Bang Theory), confirming my 04/12 predictions below that the ratings would be poor. If you divide, you see that an average TV viewer (or those paying for the commercials) would have to pay over $68 for the TV series to become profitable.
By most quantitative criteria, James Cameron is the world's most successful film director and film producer. He has earned almost $1 billion just for himself and some of his works are blockbusters – like Titanic and The Terminator; let me not include Avatar here. He's also a deep-sea explorer. You can have some unusual hobbies if your worth approaches a billion.
In 2008 Al Gore prophesied that the North Pole would be ice free within 5 years because of man-made global warming. Interestingly, now 6 years later, the latest satellite data show that not only is there plenty of ice, but that the ice cover has actually expanded by 50%, compared to 2012 levels. At the same time, sea ice levels in Antarctica have expanded to record levels and the southern hemisphere now has 19.5 million square kilometers of ice cover, more than at any point since records were first kept in 1978. And back home 86% of the country experienced colder than normal temperatures this winter so it won't surprise most to learn that the earth's temperature has not risen in 17 years amidst the huge global warming hype.
As the evidence mounts that global warming is not advancing as predicted, many global warming propagators have changed course to say that instead of warming, carbon emissions will lead to more "climate change" and that this change will result in increased hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding.That may sound plausible, except that it too is not backed by the data.Even the liberally minded United Nations noted that current data shows "no robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricane counts have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin."